The last big event of the Kennebunkport Festival is the Grand Finale at David’s KPT, and it was definitely deserving of the title “Grand”. David’s is a newer restaurant in Kennebunkport, perched beside the Kennebunk River, across the harbor from where Pop the Kennebunks was held. David’s is known for it’s chic nautical decor, large patio beside the river, and a menu that mixes classic Maine with flavors from afar.
The red carpet at David’s entrance made it clear that this wasn’t your ordinary Kennebunkport event. After a quick photo op (photographers were on hand), guests were greeted with a signature cocktails. I loved the refreshing strawberry rhubarb lemonade. The thing that everyone was talking about was the raw bar – which was serving up shrimp that were practically the size of lobster tails. There were also plenty of oysters. Locals know that David’s has the best raw bar in town.
The fun thing about the Grand Finale, was that after six days of events even the out-of-towners knew lots of people at the party. It was a festive gathering of friends both new and old. A band played on the patio while everyone sipped nibbled, and chatted as the sun slowly sunk into the harbor.
Everywhere you turned there was more food. There were several food stations on the inside serving up cheese and appetizers and desserts, chefs on the patio were churning out crab cakes, there were plenty of hot passed apps too. The fried calamari served on skewers was a fun and inventive way to serve generous portions of the appetizer.
It was a festive celebration, and a fitting end to the Kennebunkport Festival’s foodie festivities. The most ambitious of the Kennebunkport Festival attendees woke up at 6am on Sunday for a bike ride, Kennebunks Tour de Cure at Wells Reserve at Laudholm to benefit the American Diabetes Association. I am sure that the ride was a delightful way to enjoy Maine’s natural beauty – Laudholm is stunning – but I was exhausted after attending six Kennebunkport Festival events in six days, and lacked the energy the bike ride would have required.
For me, the Grand Finale was a fun end to an incredible week of festivities and a fun week with my parents. Maine is so different than Chicago, I know that might seem obvious, but sometimes I forget how perfect Kennebunkport is in the summer. I loved every moment of my time beside the sea, in a town where the pace of life is a little slower, and the people are a bit friendlier. I feel so lucky to call the Kennebunks home, and I am thrilled to have discovered that the Kennebunkport Festival is the best reason to head home for a week. You might want to buy your tickets to next years Kennebunkport Festival as soon as they go on sale, since I am already telling all my friends that they need to attend next year.
In case attending the festival isn’t an option for you, here are some tips for planning a Kennebunkport Festival style party:
1. Greet guests with a photo area, and a signature cocktail
2. Everyone loves a wine and cheese station
3. Dessert stations are equally wonderful
4. It is finally summer – and many of the Kennebunkport Festival parties took advantage of this fact by having parties with lots of outdoor space – and this is a great way to accommodate more guests
5. Generous appetizers count as dinner
6. Everyone loves calamari skewers
7. Serve regional specialities along side items that fit the party’s theme
8. Theme parties are great – especially when a space is transformed, but not every party needs a theme (POP the Kennebunks had a theme, while the Grand Finale did not).
9. Make introductions – I loved how the everyone was introducing everyone at the parties, which is how I ended up meeting my future neighbors
10. Every great party, has an after party. I loved how after every Kennebunkport Festival event had an after party at another location. It let us spread the fun all over town.
Thank you to Maine Magazine for all of their hard work organizing the events!